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Glass Maiden (Crystal Blaze) PDF Print E-mail
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Monday, 19 December 2011 00:00
Glass Maiden (Crystal Blaze)Sometimes, there are shows that you know you should really drop and move on from, but there's just enough of a grain of a good idea in them that the hope of it turning into something decent keep you watching. Glass Maiden was one of those shows, and no, it wasn't worth it...

Porilyn wants to hire Shu, the owner of S&A Detective Agency, for a big case. Unfortunately, Shu is quite the lady's man and is rather difficult to find when he's out looking for some fun. While his brother, Akira, is calling up every girl in town searching for Shu, apprentice detectives Manami and Ayaka decide that they can handle the job themselves, and go to the meeting spot only to discover that the "package" they were supposed to pick up was a woman. Things take a turn for the worse and Manami and Ayaka find themselves in the middle of a gun fight. Just when things look bad, Shu shows up to the rescue...

I think they were running a character-type check-list with this one. Shu, the womanising detective? ::tick:: Ayaka and Manami, the cute teenage apprentices? ::tick:: (although Manami would be more appealing if there wasn't a reference in every bloody episode to her wetting herself...) Porilyn, the kooky cross-dresser with a heart? The mad scientist? The cosplaying nurse? The woman with no past? ::tick:: ::tick:: and ::tick:: I could probably check a few more off the list, but you get the picture.

Our bunch of heroes, villains and victims have found themselves caught up in a plot that involves illicit experiments to turn young women into biological killing machines (the process conveniently doesn't work on men), but with the drugs necessary to do this in a very unstable state, those given them have a tendency to turn to glass and crumble away - hence, Glass Maiden. The job that Porilyn initially hires Shu for is to protect Sara, one of the test subjects, from the people who would subject her to more tests - but of course, things don't entirely go according to plan.

Put that way, sounds like it could be decent enough, but there are some fairly major problems. First, the characters are one-dimensional, lacking even basic motivations - everything is driven by the say-so of mysterious higher-ups that are giving Porilyn and evil scientist Kito their marching orders. You don't get to hear them or know what they're thinking, just hear the characters talk about their instructions - so there's the feeling that the whole series is just about a few puppets who don't have the cajones to question their orders from above. Not exactly satisfying.

Of course, questioning orders from above would require the characters to have real personalities, which is another area that's sadly lacking - outside the one identifying trait that each one has (see above), everyone here is a blank slate, with nothing of interest or redeeming value about them. I didn't know anything about them, so I didn't care what happened to them as I had no reason to - and once you fail to feel anything for the characters, then the series has lost any chance of being worth the time and effort. And don't get me started on the mess of a story, which really makes no sense from beginning to end. Something else for the list of things not worth caring about.

Which is why Glass Maiden fails, and fails quite badly. I just didn't care - for the characters, for what was happening, or for the consequences of anyone's actions. I just cared that, come the end of the run, I wanted my time back. Don't make the same mistake.

Rating - *